Thursday, April 3, 2014

Do Reverse Osmosis (RO) filters remove healthy minerals from water?

Reverse Osmosis, popularly known as RO, is currently the most advanced technology for water purification. RO works on the basic premise of removing all molecules that are smaller than a water molecule. RO is a powerful method to remove all kinds of contaminants from water – be it salt, fluoride, bromide, mercury, copper, cyanide, lead, bacteria, viruses, protozoa – everything. Thus, it also removes the “healthy”
minerals such as calcium and magnesium. This created some amount of confusion and disagreement within the medical and water communities. The World Health Organization (WHO) then clarified that the majority of essential minerals needed by the human body are obtained from food, and not from drinking water. Only a few minerals in natural waters have sufficient concentrations and distribution to expect that their consumption in drinking water might sometimes be a significant supplement to dietary intake in some populations. An illustrative example: one glass of orange juice has the same amount of minerals as 30 gallons of tap water. Relying on drinking water to fulfil the requirements for these minerals does not hold much ground. In fact, tap water, in addition to these healthy minerals, has a large variety of other minerals that the human body has difficulty absorbing. These (inorganic) minerals are suspected to cause many diseases such as hardening of the arteries (due to deposition of these minerals along the arteries), arthritis (due to deposition of minerals in the joints), kidney stones, gall stones, glaucoma, cataract, and hearing loss. The high concentrations of minerals, found especially in “hard” tap waters, are poorly absorbed by the body, and if not removed from the body, can cause obstructions to the regular functioning of critical body parts such as the arterial flow, and cause internal damages.

RO effectively removes all these harmful inorganic minerals. The body no longer ingests substances that it is incapable of absorbing and assimilating. This saves the body from a lot of stress and metabolism issues, and helps in maintaining good health. As per the International Water Association (IWA), consumers should not be concerned about the removal of minerals by RO systems. As pointed out by the WHO, the human body receives essential minerals through food, and does not need to rely on drinking water for this requirement. Although certain minerals in water may be useful in providing essential micronutrients, such as calcium, magnesium and zinc, so far there are no guidelines on minimum concentrations of these minerals in drinking water. Moreover, RO helps in removing a myriad of unhealthy, harmful minerals from drinking water, and hence it is recommended that RO systems be used for treating drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis is the only technology that can remove dangerous pharmaceuticals and drugs from drinking water. It can even remove radioactive substances and poisonous compounds such as cyanide. The increasing amounts of complex contaminants such as chemicals, drugs, carcinogenic compounds and radioactive minerals in water necessitates the requirement of a powerful and effective water purification system such as RO to keep you and your family safe and healthy.

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